A directory of books every designer should read and why 🎨

Some of industry's best designers answer the question 'What book should designers read and why?'

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Hi everyone! About a quarter ago, I realized that I had no idea how to get better at certain parts of design, such as strategy. I love books, so I figured that it would be cool if some of the best designers in industry would help establish my reading curriculum. Hence, I went out and started asking my favorite designers what book they think other designers should read. Three months later, I now have a list of 32 books, which I compiled at For every book, you can see which designers recommended it and why, as well as get more information about it on either Amazon, Goodreads or Audible. I hope that we can all use this resource to improve our skillset and use design as a force for good. I'll continue to reach out to designers and add recommendations to hopefully keep the website both valuable and relevant. Let me know if you have any feedback or want me to reach out to a particular designer! I'll be on here to answer questions :)
@vincentmvdm this is really cool how you asked each person! I will share it in the newsletter today - any plans to take it further?
@graeme_fulton Thank you so much Graeme! I really appreciate it :) For now, I'm going to focus on making some technical improvements (better keyboard support etc.) and adding more recommendations. If anything, this project made me realize that no one is too well known or busy to reach out to. That is super motivating and makes me want to reach out to even more designers. I'm curious if I can get someone like Don Norman himself to share a recommendation :-) As for long term plans, I have no idea! I definitely want to make this a place that people come back to whenever they feel stuck and/or need knowledge/inspiration. Now that I know that almost everyone in our community is up for a conversation, an interesting question becomes "What else can I ask them that a junior designer wants the answer to but might be afraid to ask?" Any suggestions are welcome!
@vincentmvdm You're welcome! πŸ‘ŒπŸ‘Œ"What else can I ask them that a junior designer wants the answer to but might be afraid to ask"– this is a really cool mission, sounds like it could go beyond books eventually

Great to see what experienced designers recommend to read, and importantly, why!


Recommended books by experienced people!


none from me

Awesome job - this must have taken so much work to put together! Really excited to dig into some other people's recommendations :)
@brian_lovin Thanks Brian! Yeah it was a surprisingly wild ride for something so simple haha :) It took quite a while to collect all the recommendations, and I also decided to switch up my stack, which was easier said than done (REST -> GraphQL, Mongo -> SQL, DO -> AWS). Thanks for all the recommendations and the GraphQL help!
Thank you for creating great resource. I'd humbly suggest you consider adding "Designing Visual Interfaces: Communication Oriented Techniques" by Mullet and Sano. I bought this book in 2000 and it's as relevant now as it was then, especially for the wonderful "crash course" in basic design principles, outside the context of the web/apps/whatever.
Here's the equivalent for business books: